Don’t Believe the Lies : Understanding the Enemy’s Tactics

It’s been another wild week and life seems more hectic than ever. Attacks and spiritual warfare seem to be coming from every angle. Battles all around including conflict on the home front with a daughter. Just last night, we received a call that Marilyn’s mother fell and found herself concussed. Hardship and chaos are always lingering and Satan is the architect, seeking to distract us from what matters.

Last Sunday, I heard a great sermon while my wife and I were visiting Texas. The message was from a young cat on Genesis 3 which prompted me to dive deeper into the passage for myself. Here we see sin enter God’s perfect creation and completely unhinge man’s unending rest and enjoyment with God in the garden. Since the beginning Satan has been trying to derail God’s perfect plan for His creation.

Satan, our primary antagonist is introduced in Genesis 3:1 as a serpent that is “more crafty” than any other animals in the garden. Why is this important? Because, Satan has been deceiving God’s creation since the first man was on the earth. Satan is crafty as he fails to mention that sin will derail our lives. Somehow, Satan presents a compelling argument that sin is more fulfilling than obeying God.

Verse 1 concludes with a question that Satan still asks men and women today – “Did God actually say?” As a deceiver, this crafty foe is constantly trying to question God’s authority and compromise God’s Word.

Did God Actually Say

Verses 2 and 3 records the conversation between Eve and the serpent, Satan. A quick read of these verses seems comical. Why is Eve talking to a snake? Why is she being swayed to commit an act of defiance towards God by a stranger.  For you guys that have kids, especially daughters. What’s the first thing you teach them? Don’t talk to strangers! Especially crafty, slimy creatures (like snakes or teenage boys)! Final overarching question – why is she buying into the lie of this tempter. Verse 4 answers some of these questions.

Satan is an expert at taking aspects of God’s true words and twisting them into lies. As Satan manipulates God’s Word with Eve, we find three lies that Satan still uses to deceive us today. One, sin has no consequences. Second, God is withholding good from you. Third, disobeying God will bring you pleasure.

This Garden was perfect; literal perfection.  A pristine landscape of beauty and wonder with the finest cornucopia of nourishing and satisfying foods. Adam and Eve had incredible satisfaction and pleasure at their fingertips yet with a few simple lures, the forbidden fruit looked appealing for provision, pleasure and power.

James 1:14- 15 gives us greater insight to the strategies of Satan’s tempting:  “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

Cornelius Plantinga quote

Sin is enticing, sin is luring and the main thing that struck me as I studied this passage is that sin invites company.  Not only is temptation imminent but the lures will come with a ‘pay it forward’ invitation. When I was young (and not always doing what God wanted), I was often pulled towards sin by someone and I was prone to pulling others towards my own wickedness. Misery loves company. I saw that in my dad’s life.  He’d invite his friend, Ray to go to a bar with him to get drunk, rather than go alone.

As Adam sat by passively and watched his wife succumb to temptation, he jumped at the first opportunity after being completely silent during this tempestuous discourse and directly disobeyed God’s command (v.6).

Men, keep in mind that God wants us to live in the garden in fellowship with Him. Sin takes us out of the garden. It hinders us from the loving relationship of our Father. Sin has been mastered by the great deceiver, Satan! The way Satan gets back at God is by hurting His children. That’s us! We like Eve have a choice either talk to a snake who deceives and destroys or seek the Creator, who gives life and rest!

Stephen L. Thomas,